TWTRCON SF 10: Key Takeaways

Photo courtesy vincentgallegos on Flickr

Photo courtesy vincentgallegos on Flickr

Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend TWTRCON SF 2010, much due in part to Anne Weiskopf, Dean Elmore and Kat Cornetta (thank you!) I’d like to share with you some takeaways I gathered from some of the great sessions I attended during the one-day conference. Please feel free to reach out to me in person if you’d like to talk more about these notes, or better yet, visit the blogs and websites of the speakers noted below — they have some very valuable knowledge to share.

Session: Twitter for Business 101 (Laura Fitton, Founder,
– Four keys to social media success: Listen, Learn, Care, Serve.
– What does Twitter disrupt? Attention. Traditional media distribution channels. Human isolation.
– The most important thing to remember when using Twitter: Be helpful, even if this means sharing content that isn’t your own.
– Laura’s session slides:

Panel: The Bottom Line on Real Time
– Certain areas of the business may not be completely socialized due to sensitivity/privacy issues
– “If a customer needs to talk about a sensitive banking issue, we are NOT going to solve that problem on Twitter, but we’ll get them to the right place.” (cust. svc./funneling) – Kimarie Matthews, VP, Social Web and Customer Loyalty, Wells Fargo
– Twitter: great way to start conversations. “It’s a pickup line, not a way to foster a full, meaningful relationship.” – Eric Mantion, Social Media Sherpa, Intel
– “The #1 way links get shared is by e-mail, but #1 way links get clicked is by social media.” – Brian Solis, Principal, FutureWorks
– Remember that sometimes, all a customer wants is to be acknowledged. Remember this as a priority before you venture to find them a solution to their problem. – Mark Yolton, Senior VP, SAP Community Network, SAP

Interview: Show Me the Money (with Adam Bain, President, Global Revenue, Twitter)
– Three current offerings: Promoted tweets (sold in 24-hour blocks), promoted trends, promoted accounts
– Still working on rolling out proper advertising offerings (“The important priority is getting the platform right, rather than getting it right now. Making sure our users are delighted with the platform.”
– Advertisers have moved beyond “WHY Twitter” and are now focused on “HOW.” 50 advertisers contracted currently with a goal of 140.
– On trends: “We actually do have a product now which shows activity 1) before 2) during 3) after for the trend.” Ex. Old Spice campaign had 3 states that were well-defined. When the trend ended, it didn’t shut down all conversation (3). “They paid us to help light the match.”
– On wrangling the firehose of data from Twitter: Working on a platform to allow third-party developer partners to more easily perform analysis for Twitter’s ad clients.
– Adam’s suggestions on using Twitter for your brand: Be polite, delight, be newsworthy and relevant.

Case Study: Airlines in Real Time (Linda Rutherford, VP of Communication, Southwest Airlines)
– Deciding on the message first, then figuring out, can Twitter help us? Can other tools help?
– “You can’t solve customer service issues in 140 characters.”
– Turning fans into fanatics – taking customer experiences and turning them into something remarkable
– Remember to use the “Aunt Maude method” – make sure that no matter what social strategies & tools you roll out for your organization, it’s simple enough that even your Aunt Maude can do it (or explain it)
– It’s about 1) discovery, 2) willingness to experiment, 3) taking the necessary time to help the executive team understand
– “Our employees feel empowered when they’re able to tell the Southwest story.”

Analytics: The Value of Being Social (Avinash Kaushik, Analytics Evangelist, Google)
– “HITS: How Idiots Track Success” – point being, there are more effective ways to track success on Twitter
– Beginner’s Guide to Web Data Analysis: Ten Steps to Success (blog post) – short link:
– “I’m not interested in activity, but in the actions that came of it – did you visit my site? Did you buy my book?”
– Arrow has changed over the past 5 years into much more of a two-way conversation, rather than just shouting.
– The world of marketing has changed even more – Social web revolution, back and forth and side-to-side (btwn. customers) – we’re not even present/in control of this part. THIS is the new marketing – customer to customer. It’s going on without us. If you don’t understand this, your business will die.
– Don’t get hung up on # of followers. Justin Bieber has millions of followers. Is his message more important than yours?
– Better metrics to track success on Twitter:

  • Message amplification: # of RT’s per 1,000 followers.
  • Conversation: What does your Twitter stream look like? @ replies? Providing value that might not be sourced from you – maybe even your competitors. Did what you shared add value to the world?
  • Conversation Rate: # of replies sent/day against index of Twitter accounts (and #of replies received/day). Outbound msgs. vs. inbound msgs.
  • Focus on the size of your second-level network. Your active readers/retweeters/regular interacters and THEIR network.
  • Sentiment Analysis: Don’t get caught up in measuring the positive, negative & neutral. Tools are not sophisticated enough yet to understand sarcasm & other nuances. An agency can help you with this if you’re really concerned.
  • Words surrounding mentions of you: What words do people use most before mentioning your name? What words do they use after? What do these words say about your brand? Are there opportunities here?

Panel: Search Goes Social
– In October, Twitter did 1 billion queries/day; Google did 88 billion. Twitter is not the biggest in the search game, but holding up as a contender for real-time.
– When Yahoo gets the Twitter firehose, it has to index it in 10 minutes or less to be effective. Only counts queries from actual human beings typing in queries. Weeds out bots, spammers & click fraud.
– How to SEO in real time? Create retweetable content.

Keynote: Business in the Fast Lane (Scott Monty, Head of Social Media, Ford Motor Co. and a BU alum!)
– “People don’t trust what corporations have to say anymore. They trust people.”
– The Woody Allen theory of social media: “Ninety percent [of social media] is just showing up – it’s the other half that’s hard.”
– With rollout of new social channels for Ford Fiesta campaign, 6.2 million views on 600 videos, 40 million impressions on Twitter, and got the attention of a brand new demographic.
– The results prove it’s working: 83% of the customers reached by social media campaign for the new Ford Fiesta (including a fan-driven video creation campaign) were new to Ford.
– “If you wish to persuade me, you must think my thoughts, feel my feelings, and speak my words.” – Cicero (The point? You have to understand your customers before you can begin speaking to them – listen before you speak.”
– Transparency is key, particularly in crisis communication situations. “We’re training our people to talk like humans again.”

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